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"The Funeral of Théodred" known as "Lament for Théodred": Vocal Melody by David Donaldson, David Long, Stephen Roche, Janet Roddick (or Plan 9 & David Long); Words by David Salo; Performed by Miranda Otto.

Gandalf is victorious—Saruman is drawn from Théoden and Rohan is freed of his evil influence. As the King regains his consciousness he is met by Éowyn’s smiling face. Tentative string chords are taken in by the comforting embrace of Éowyn and Théoden’s theme. “I always thought of this scene as being about Éowyn and Théoden’s relationship,” Shore explains. “This theme is applied to her, but i think of it as being between them.”

Théoden rises, grasps Herugrim, his sword, and for the first time in The Lord of the Rings, Shore’s Rohan Fanfare surges to the fore in an unabated show of pride and honor. This is the great kingdom of Rohan, home of the Horselords, and King Théoden again exercises his just rule. A heraldic phrase of French horns, two trumpets and full strings announces the King’s return to the throne, while the Hardanger ties the land to its rural heart. “This is the first full version of this theme. The brass are building, but the Hardanger is still at the forefront,” Shore says. Still, this, the boldest statement yet of the Rohan theme, takes an acrimonious turn as Théoden espies Gríma and recalls the sting of his leechcraft.

Wormtongue is uprooted from his dank corner of Medusled, and in a boil of shame and hatred, flees Rohan, forever removing his profane theme from the land. Théoden, having chased the scoundrel as far as the steps of the Golden Hall, now stands before his people. They bow, but in the King’s preoccupation, the Rohan Fanfare refuses to sound. In its place a series of brass chords mounts powerfully, but curiously. “Where is Théodred?” he wonders aloud. “Where is my son?”

The Éowyn and Théoden theme proceeds along a somber course as the King’s niece presides over Théodred’s funeral. An unembellished statement of the theme stands somberly, like a stark grave marker, its rich Lydian harmonies now peaked and cold. Ceremonial chorus enters singing “The Funeral of Théodred,” over which Éowyn (Miranda Otto, cast performer) chants a melody line by Plan 9. The clean pure tones of solo trumpet over chorus finally usher Théodred to the halls of his forefathers. But just as the line cadences on a dark B-minor triad, Théoden is reminded of his purpose. The children from the Westfold arrive, exhausted from their long escape. Rohan needs its King.

Text by Philippa Boyens
Old English Translation by David Salo
First Heard: Disc Two | Track Three
Nú on théostrum licgeth Théodred se léofa | Now dear Théodred lies in darkness,
hæ ´letha holdost. Ne sceal hearpan sweg | most loyal of fighters. The sound of the harp shall not
wigend weccean; ne winfæ ´t gylden | wake the warrior; nor shall the man
guma sceal healdan, ne god hafoc | hold a golden wine-cup, nor good hawk
geond sæ ´l swingan, ne se swifta mearh | swing through the hall, nor the swift horse
burhstede beatan. Bealocwealm hafath | stamp in the courtyard. An evil death has
fréone frecan forth onsended. | sent forth the noble warrior.
Giedd sculon singan gléomenn sorgiende | A song shall sing sorrowing minstrels
on Meduselde thæ ´t he manna wæ ´re | in Meduseld, that he was of men
his dryhtne dierest and maga deorost. | dearest to his lord and bravest of kinsmen.

Plan 9 first collaborated with Peter Jackson on 1995’s Forgotten Silver. In The Lord of the Rings films, they specialized in diegetic, or on-screen music, including Éowyn’s melody line from “The Funeral of Théodred.”

© The Annotated Score (The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films)

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